Have you been working full-time on your business?
For most of you online entrepreneurs who are starting your first venture, this might seem like the only way to get your name on the search engine results page (SERP) spot that you’re gunning for. This means spending countless hours on keyword research, writing content, performing on-site and off-site search engine optimization (SEO), and waiting months to see whether your hard labor has paid off.
We are here today to tell you that getting the results you are looking for doesn’t always have to entail an equally great amount of sweat and tears. You can alleviate much of your stress and anxiety with a well-designed strategy and detailed plan outlining your business goals from the very start.
For the majority of business owners, the end goal is to one day exit their asset with a huge return on investment (ROI) to fund their next venture.
However, the problem is that a large portion of business owners aren’t aware that they have the option of selling their business, let alone know how much it is worth.
This is where we at Empire Flippers have you covered. We’ve been brokering deals between both buyers and sellers in the online space for years and have gathered a pool of investors looking to acquire digital properties just like yours. The demand for profitable digital properties is ever growing. In fact, we hit over $100 Million in businesses sold on our marketplace in Q1 of 2020.
With that said, we can assure you that there will always be a buyer interested in your business.
By the end of this article, you will learn about how online businesses are valued, how to increase this value, and most importantly, how you can leverage a content system within your business to maximize your gains as you exit.
Before diving into what a proper content system entails, we first discuss how digital properties are valued.
How Digital Assets are Valued
When the time comes that you decide to exit from your business, you will want to make sure you do your own due diligence on how much similar businesses are selling for. You wouldn’t want to sell your business for too little and waste the sweat equity that you’ve invested in it and neither do you want to wait around for an offer on a sales price that is too high.
To help you gain some insight into what your business may be worth as of today, we’ve created our own valuation tool that our audience uses to get an estimate on the value of similar assets being sold on our marketplace.
The root formula we use to determine these values is as follows:
To value your business, we look at your rolling 12-month net profit average and multiply this figure by a multiplier. This multiple will usually range between 20 and 50x your 12-month average net profit for a well-optimized digital asset.
You may see some online brokers using multiples of 2 or 3x the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). This formula uses annual multiples, while at Empire Flippers, we use a monthly multiple. There is normally little difference between the two; however, we prefer using a monthly multiple to give a better picture of where the business currently stands financially and clearly identify recent trends.
Now that we have a better understanding of how digital properties are valued, we should discuss how you can increase your multiple when using an optimized content system .
If you have built a digital asset, chances are you already have some type of content system in place. Before we can determine whether your content system is at its ideal level, we must first discuss what exactly a content system is.
What is a Content System?
A content system is the process of the creation, engagement, management, and optimization of your content. We will call these the “four pillars” of a content system. When one of these pillars fails, the entire foundation of your content system will crumble. While every business will have its own unique characteristics in setting-up its content system, these four pillars serve as the general foundation that most digital assets base their content system on.
The quality of the content you present to your target audience is also important. Such content should provide value to your target audience and in turn, help produce and grow a network within your given niche. When done properly, a well-structured content system will help you consistently publish valuable content that your target audience will enjoy and free up your time to focus on more important matters such as scaling your business.
Your content system must be able to create the valuable insights that your audience needs. You need to solve their problems, answer any questions they might have, or simply provide content that would pique their interest. The possibilities during the creation process are endless; this is where creating a buyer persona list comes handy.
When you build buyer personas for your target audience, you get to know exactly what type of content will be most useful for that specific person based on where they are in your sales funnel. In doing so, you are able to effectively direct your content towards the users that would get the most value out of it instead of blasting your content without targeting any specific recipient. This step will also benefit your content system as you reach the management stage later on, which we will discuss in just a moment.
No amount of reads, views, or social likes will give you the results you are looking for as much as actual engagements which include email messages, comments, or shares. Your content system should engage your target audience and not simply make them aware of your brand.
Engaging with your audience through comments, forums, webinars, and online events are the best avenues for interacting with your audience on a more personal level.
As you scale your network, members within your online community will begin to participate more in live events, webinars, and conferences, and will eventually provide free marketing reach for these engagements through their social shares. This not only offers plenty of great platforms to engage your audience on, but also strengthens your network as a whole.
As mentioned above, properly managing your content during the creation stage will put you steps ahead in optimizing how your content is managed before things get out of control.
Initially, this step might not seem too important. However, as your business begins to scale, you’ll find that it is necessary to have a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for how your content is managed and stored. These operating procedures are basically a series of checklists that detail the step-by-step process for how you or an outsourced virtual assistant (VA) handle these operations. Having a proper system in place to track and store your data is also a plus when listing your business for sale. This is something that many investors often look for when deciding to acquire a digital asset from our marketplace.
The easier you make it for your business to be transitioned to a new owner, such as by including SOPs and systems that manage your database of content, the more desirable your business becomes and moves the multiple in your favor.
How do you keep your content optimized? If you are familiar with SEO and the tactics many use to rank their sites, then you may be aware of a few on-page SEO optimizations that you can perform to help you move up the SERPs.
Existing content can be optimized in several ways, including updating the article date, improving the user experience, updating the anchor text, and enhancing the process for tracking these improvements. Additionally, using conversion rate optimization (CRO) and A/B split testing title copy can also help you improve existing content without much effort on your end.
Having SOPs in place to properly maintain and manage the four pillars of your content system will help you obtain the return you are looking for when you decide to make an exit. Now that you have an idea of what a typical content system is and how it is structured, you need to know about the different software as a service (SaaS) tools on the market that can help you manage all of this.
Services that Can Help Manage Your Content System
We at Empire Flippers have spent years searching for the best platform that can help us properly track, manage, and optimize our content system all in one place. We have tried using Google docs and Google sheets to track our content, but these platforms had their weaknesses and were also time consuming to use. This was especially a concern given the rapid growth rate that we are experiencing.
This was where Monday came to the rescue.
Monday is a project management system that offers a wide range of features to help track, store, and optimize our content system. It also integrates well with other platforms we are using on the backend such as Google drive.
Given that we are a completely remote company with team members from all over the world, using a service like Monday has given us a useful platform to track our content system’s progress all in one place.
The platform allows you to properly organize and manage the different parts and operations of your content system. Monday has separate “boards” that you can use to properly organize and track the status of things such as guest post outreach campaigns, potential backlink prospects, and a whole list of amazing automations that you can set up to ensure that your content system is running at its optimal level.
Other services that are similar to Monday include Trello, Asana, and Basecamp. These services vary in features depending on the tier package that you choose to go with. Using these tools within your daily operations will not only help you step away from the content creation and management process to focus on scaling your business, but will also increase your multiplier as the systems are already embedded into your business model.
Now, your content system is running smoothly, you are tracking your audience engagements and guest post outreach campaigns, and your content planning board is looking well-organized and documented. What’s next?
When Should You Make an Exit?
Before you make any decision the first thing you should consider is this: how will this impact your business goals?
If your plan is to one day own a seven-figure asset, will your exit from the business you’ve just managed to optimize help you achieve those goals faster? If the answer is yes, you might want to consider selling your online business to gain a large chunk of capital to roll into your next investment opportunity.
Selling your business is a big decision to make and not something you should take lightly—especially considering all the sweat equity you put into building it.
At the same time, it is worth considering how life-changing it would be if you were to sell your business for five, six, or even seven figures. Once you optimize your business’ content system as provided in this guide, you will be setting yourself up for a big exit of your own, should you decide to take it.
Even if you decide not to exit your business just yet, using the information above will help you in improving, systemizing, and automating your digital asset. This can potentially give you huge gains in the future and put you on track to accomplishing your business goals starting today.
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